Some Towing Thoughts - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-03-2014, 11:11 AM   #43
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Name: Dale
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From a quick Google search, it looks like there are still companies out there selling geodesic dome kits! The price has gone up substantially since the 1970s' when these were relatively cheap and very popular with "flower power" hippies and the "Foxfire" back-to-nature crowd. That reminds me - what ever happened to all those Hare Krishnas that used to panhandled in the airport terminals back then? Memories....
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Old 07-03-2014, 11:41 AM   #44
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Dale, Domes are really easy to build, we've made 6 domes of many different sizes and constructions. Basically the cost of the outer shell is really low. Give me a pile of 2x4s and some sheets of plywood and we can make one in a weekend.

We made one for a trade show that was clear lexan.
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Old 07-03-2014, 01:33 PM   #45
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Norm,
You have the greatest ideas! I can see you now with your new camper! Call the Norm Dome! They will sale like hot cakes! You and Ginny and take your 50th honeymoon in it!
Thanks,
Carls
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Old 07-03-2014, 02:31 PM   #46
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Norm I would be sure to praise Andy if he had in fact done the testing and experimentation. But the fine print at the bottom of the test results shows it was done by a Dr. Buckley at the Univ. of Maryland.
Professor Emeritus, Mechanical Engineering, UM
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Old 07-03-2014, 03:51 PM   #47
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So what would be the coefficient of drag on a geodesic dome (pick a size) mounted on a pair of Dexter axles? You probably better calculate the aerodynamic lift, too. At interstate speeds, that dome shape just might cause lift off!
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Old 07-03-2014, 04:35 PM   #48
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Just to set the record straight, if you own your own wind tunnel, you can design a trailer that lowers the drag of even a low-drag tow vehicle like the Honda Insight:



There was a little bit of cheating as you'll see they faired in the front wheels too, but the car-trailer combination had noticeably less drag than the car alone (sadly, I can't find those numbers now).

The trailer is, pretty clearly, designed to suit just that one tow vehicle and is connected to it by elastomeric (stretchy) panels, hence the absence of a gap.

And it is easy to be a little critical of this trailer - the headroom at the dinette is under six inches, and the dinette itself is only three feet long - but then every trailer is a compromise somewhere, right?
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:04 PM   #49
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Norm, have you thought about how to work around the hitch clearance issue with the Oddy? I would love to go back to a minivan if it weren't for that. I'm considering a Honda Pilot to regain at least some of the room I lost yet keep the hitch clearance.

Melissa
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:52 PM   #50
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What is the hitch clearance issue? Did I miss something?
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Old 07-03-2014, 08:45 PM   #51
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So what would be the coefficient of drag on a geodesic dome (pick a size) mounted on a pair of Dexter axles? You probably better calculate the aerodynamic lift, too. At interstate speeds, that dome shape just might cause lift off!
The coefficient of drag of a half sphere is definitely less than the typical truck.

We built our first dome one labor day weekend out of 1/2 inch dowels and large washers. We were surprised after we put the last dowel in by how strong it was. Our young children could hang from it. Since it was hot, we decided to hang sheets on it to create shade using clothes pins.

We went off to play some back yard game. Suddenly the kids were all excited. We turned to see the dome literally flying across the large field, picked up by a relatively breeze. It crashed when it reached a bordering fence, spilling over the fence with some minor damage.

life is fun.....
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Old 07-03-2014, 08:48 PM   #52
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Norm, have you thought about how to work around the hitch clearance issue with the Oddy? I would love to go back to a minivan if it weren't for that. I'm considering a Honda Pilot to regain at least some of the room I lost yet keep the hitch clearance.

Melissa
At present it looks like the rear door easilyclears our hitch with inches to spare. I haven't checked propane tank clearance but will and let you know.
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Old 07-03-2014, 08:55 PM   #53
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Norm, going from the manual trans CRV to an automatic trans vehicle reminds me of the first auto trans car my grandfather bought back in the 70's, a Dodge Coronet. Riding back home from picking it up at the dealership when he went to turn in his driveway he thought he was driving a standard and went to push in the clutch, but it was the brake. SUDDEN STOP !! And about the dome houses, there is one in our area that was probably built in the 70's, but my favorite house is a Futuro Home. One was just for sale on ebay, wish I could have afforded it.
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Old 07-03-2014, 09:02 PM   #54
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We choose a dome because we had visited a large air supported structure and liked the feeling, you could see shadows of trees thru the walls. We thought about converting one into a home. With in a tear the power went down and the building came down. After that we choose the dome.
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Old 07-03-2014, 09:11 PM   #55
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Norm, have you thought about how to work around the hitch clearance issue with the Oddy?
We have a 13' Scamp that we tow with a 2007 Odyssey. I am not sure what hitch clearance issue you are referring to. The tailgate does conveniently miss the jack and can open when the trailer is attached. The hitch is relatively low to the ground, but you can see that I had to actually go down a little to hook up to the 13' Scamp. Below is a picture of our hitch. I like how the dealership cut out a little bit of the bumper to get the hitch as high as possible. I have seen other installations that are much lower.

Norm, I hope you enjoy your Odyssey as much as we have. It has been a great vehicle for us.
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Old 07-03-2014, 09:29 PM   #56
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Eric, I measured the height of our existing ball and it seems our ball support will have to go up a little.

So you have no interference with your propane tank, I assume it misses that by plenty.
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